South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada has been banned for the rest of the Test series against Australia after being found guilty of deliberately making contact with the tourists’ captain Steve Smith.
Fast bowler Rabada brushed shoulders with Smith after celebrating his dismissal during South Africa’s six-wicket victory in the second Test.
It took the 22-year-old to eight demerit points in a 24-month period, resulting in a two-Test ban.
He was fined 50% of his match fee.
Rabada, who took 11 wickets in the match, also accepted a second misconduct charge of sending off Australia batsman David Warner on day three, taking his total number of demerit points to nine and resulting in a further 15% fine of his match fee.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) rejected Rabada’s claim the contact with Smith was accidental.
“I found that there was contact between Rabada and Smith, and in my judgement the contact by Rabada was inappropriate, and deliberate,” said match referee Jeff Crowe.
“It is also disappointing that this has happened the day after the pre-match meeting I had with both teams, where the importance of respect for opponents was highlighted.
“I take no pleasure in seeing a player suspended, particularly a young player of Kagiso’s talent, but he has now breached the ICC code of conduct on a number of occasions.”
Rabada was suspended for one Test against England last summer following an altercation with Ben Stokes.
Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh was fined 20% of his match fee and given one demerit point after accepting a charge of using offensive language.
The four-match series is level at 1-1, with the third Test starting on 22 March in Cape Town.